Gathering around the table with officials, critics, supporters and people who participated in the wild modified foreign car event two weeks ago sounds like a reasonable way to prevent a recurrence of that kind of anarchy.
Except that it won’t work. Like many other well-intentioned panels that have been charged with addressing the concerns of society, it would be almost entirely populated by people who want to solve the problem, rather than those who are the problem.
When someone’s idea of a good time is wreaking havoc and challenging the police, it’s hardly likely that this individual would have much interest in finding ways to stop it.
Besides, there’s no way to determine, in such a loosely structured group, if there actually is someone whose words of caution would be heard and heeded by a majority of the participants.
Almost certainly, the absence of a controlling authority and the gathering’s lack of rules and standards is part of its appeal to many, and maybe most, of these car owners.
Consequently, inviting them into the room, while fair, would also be pointless. The only answer is to make behaving badly truly unappealing.
The mayor and City Council are virtually powerless to do anything of substance without the consent of the General Assembly, and it is there that pressure must be applied.
The council and the public may have numerous schemes and plans they would like to pursue, but as good as some of these ideas might be, they would be illegal for the most part if they aren’t backed up by state law.
Although the council has been criticized here many times for meeting in executive session, the council’s closed-door discussions on this subject are both appropriate and necessary.
There’s little to be gained by having a public debate over tactics, when their legality has yet to be determined.